1/1 Interview with Sabine Geldermann – Director, drupa

Thanks to my new best friend Anne Meerboth-Maltz from Messe Düsseldorf North America, I was able to score an interview with Sabine Geldermann Director drupa & Global head Printing Technology, Messe Düsseldorf GmbH. Needless to say with drupa only 2 months away, I am extremely grateful that both of these amazing women took the time to share some cool info with us.

I’ll be at drupa with HP PageWide Press in Hall 17 (THANK YOU TEAM INKJET!!!) and running around to share as much as possible with all of you from Düsseldorf . Here is some info about the show, and of course a little fun mixed in. The drupa team has a pretty great sense of humor… I guess they would have to when you consider they are responsible for the largest print show in the world! DANKE Ladies!!

DC: I have to use my first question to ask the MOST important thing: What is the story behind the drupa song? Has the 2016 drupa song been released yet, and how can people find it?

drupa_S.Geldermann_PrintMediaCentrSG: The wait is over! This year’s drupa song, called “drupa is in town again” is composed and online. The drupa song has a rich tradition and is a popular and memorable part of the show every time. The first drupa song was created in 1986 and played throughout the halls every morning on all trade fair days since that date. The first song was written and sung by Dave Gibson. The millennium drupa was celebrated with a new song sung by Lucy Wende and produced by Rolf Lammers and Mal Dondock. In 2004 visitors and exhibitors received a musical welcome from Elke Diepenbeck with a song by Stephen Grosser and in 2008 the drupa song was produced by Ladag Media. The song at the previous drupa in 2012 was written by a Messe Düsseldorf employee, Dirk Zeisler.

In 2016 the drupa song is bound to be a ‘hit’ and will have everyone singing along and dancing in the aisles. Composed by famous songwriter and multiple award winning keyboard player and pianist, Dieter Falk, this year’s drupa song is a soul track with hot horn licks, plenty of funky guitar and piano riffs. Throughout his prestigious musical career, Dieter Falk has collected more than 50 platinum and golden records. With five ECHO nominations for more than 20million CD sales as producer and arranger for leading artists, Falk has won many awards for his own albums including two of his most recent Jazz albums, ‘Celebrate Bach’ and ‘Toccata’ issued by Universal and recorded with his two sons. Falk is also a music professor at the Robert Schumann Academy in Düsseldorf.

For the drupa song, he found the perfect performer in South African soul singer Bonita Niessen who received her first recording contract aged 19. Since then she has made many appearances alongside other recording artists including Michael Bublé, Kool and the Gang, Bobby Kimball of Toto and Bootsy Collins. Her latest album entitled ‘OZ’ comprises ten songs with pop, rock and country influences. Niessen also has a stage career with regular castings in pop oratorios such as Die zehn Gebote (The Ten Commandments), Amazing Grace and most recently in Luther in 2015.

And where can the drupa song be heard? Online of course – listen here!

DC: drupa 2016 is being called “the packaging drupa” by the industry. Are you seeing an increase in attendee interest and increase in exhibitors serving this segment?

SG: Successful trade fairs are a reflection of the market and packaging is regarded as a growth sector worldwide. Statistics from Smithers Pira (UK) predict growth in the packaging sector to rise annually by four percentage points to US$ 985 billion by 2018. At drupa 2016, we will have over 300 exhibitors presenting packaging print solutions as well as inks and substrates for packaging. To address the trend and reflect the potential in this sector, we are launching a new initiative “touchpoint packaging”. Our motto is “touch tomorrow’s packaging today”. The dedicated platform will be the focal point at drupa for the packaging industry – brand owners, retailers, designers, creatives and print service and finishing professionals. The eleven day event will include workshops, lectures, keynotes, panel discussions and best case presentations which will cover the whole spectrum of the world of packaging and the key facets of packaging production in four sub sectors – Food & Beverage, Non-food, Pharma and Cosmetics.

A key part of these events will be to raise awareness about the technical possibilities and the challenges of implementation across the entire value-added supply chain from ‘concept to design to shelf’. There will be demonstrations as well as talks regarding future technologies and up-coming trends. Digital printing is opening up the packaging market to new opportunities for customized, personalized and interactive packaging, smart packaging for maximum functionality and intelligent packaging for security. Well-designed packaging enhances the product experience tempting the consumer to purchase and contributing to brand loyalty.

Our aim is to use this visionary “touchpoint” to help identify the potential in packaging design and production and address a wide spectrum of vertical markets. By showing our visitors the latest technical developments in electronic displays, sensors and 3D printing, we hope to demonstrate a world of exciting, sustainable and interactive packaging and labeling. “touchpoint packaging @ drupa 2016” is planned and organized in close cooperation with the epda, the European Packaging and Design Association, Europe’s leading association for brand and packaging design agencies.


DC: How many people typically attend drupa, what can they expect from the show, and how big is the Messe?

SG: The world of print comes to Düsseldorf to learn and to see the latest technologies. In 2016, there will be around 300,000 visitors attending and approximately 1,700 exhibitors from more than 50 countries. Interestingly, 450 of those companies exhibiting will be at drupa for the first time. The exhibitor space has met our goals and covers 1.6 million square feet net in 19 Halls. It is our responsibility to build bridges to the future which is why we have repositioned the trade fair to a three year cycle and shortened the event from 14 to 11 days.

Everyone knows how much the print and media industry has changed but drupa will continue to provide the action. For companies looking to invest in the latest technologies drupa will shine a spotlight on the future of the industry. In addition to the highly respected press manufacturers and suppliers, there will be new technologies such as functional printing, printed electronics, 3D printing and the industrial applications of the various printing technologies which are the springboard to the future. We feel that drupa is more important than ever before as a window of opportunity. It is the focal point for all suppliers to the industry and this now includes a greater diversity of suppliers of W2P, automation software, marketing software, data management solutions, digital printing and importantly creative and tactile finishing.

Without a doubt a fundamental part of drupa 2016 will be Print 4.0, which will define an entirely digital workflow across every hall made possible by the intelligent networking of our machines and systems. Print 4.0 in action will be configured to enable all solutions within the spectrum – from the increasing diversity of functional and industrial printing solutions to premium packaging and finishing. It will drive digital printing and personalization solutions and not least 3D printing with its seamless digital process chain.


DC: What is the cube?

SG: In 2016, the drupa cube experience will follow the tagline “Entertaining, Educating, Engaging”. The drupa cube program has been developed to connect the print and media industries, attracting creative agencies, marketers, brand owners and print buyers. It will also help to interconnect different vertical markets. The dedicated space is designed to encourage conversation and convergent thinking that should lead to the co-creation, re-imagination and re-invention of the future of printing.

The program has been designed by FreemanXP, a London based brand experience agency and the first keynote will be given by Frans Johansson, futurist and best-selling author of the Medici Effect. Johansson will talk on the drupa theme “touch the future” and “intersectional thinking”. The theme of his discussion will address the question, “What happens when technological revolution meets an industry that has been around for a millennium?” Other keynote speakers include Silas Amos of Silas Amos Design and Shane Wall, Chief Technical Officer at HP and Global Head of HP Labs. Following the keynotes there will be four “invitation only” interactive workshops attracting decision makers at a senior level.

The eleven-day program in the drupa cube will offer a combination of sessions in a variety of vertical markets such as retail, consumer goods, food, interior design, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, health, and the finance and public sectors. A distinguished list of thought leaders will discuss the evolution of business, technology and new areas of application. There will be six discussions led by the Medici Group focusing on “Innovation @ the Intersection” and these will encompass the six highlight topics of drupa 2016 – multichannel, print, functional printing, 3D-Printing, packaging production and green printing. With this approach we aim to trigger “out-of-the-box thinking”. After all, this opens up new perspectives and reveals exciting insights into the future of the print media world. The complete program can be found on our website. Entrance to the drupa cube will be free of charge for drupa visitors as part of the daily ticket price.

DC: How will drupa be utilizing social media during the event? Where can people connect with all your channels?

SG: drupa will provide a focal point for all social media activity on the show at the north entrance of the fairgrounds. There will be a dedicated space with seating and a number of screens showing updated twitter feeds, live video and interviews and demonstrations from around the show on an hourly basis.

drupa news can be found in the following social media sites:
Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn
Newsroom: http://blog.drupa.com
NewsFeed: http://blog.drupa.com/feed/
Xing: https://www.xing.com/communities/groups/drupa-1069199 (in German)

DC: In 20 words or less, why should everyone stop reading this interview and buy a ticket to attend drupa 2016? 

Don’t delay! Buy now! Online! Done it? Feel good?
Yeah! You are attending the “don’t miss event” of 2016 – drupa

DC: Bonus Question: What does drupa mean, and why is drupa always lowercase vs Drupa?

SG: In German drupa means Druck und Papier or in English print and paper. The format of the word was changed from DRUPA to drupa in 1997. It was changed to address the lowercase trend in brand-names and logos. We should state that we believe that corporate brand-names and logos themselves cannot reflect the true spirit of a brand, an event or a company. drupa is identified through its long and successful history as the International Printing Industry Trade Fair not to be missed. The word drupa not only identifies with a major world class trade event but is now synonymous with a date in the global calendar. This year round about 300,000 visitors will travel from all over the world to Düsseldorf to experience and establish the state of the industry. For many there is a satisfaction in having been to drupa and finding the knowledge and understanding. This drives their ability to go forward and take the next steps.

Follow @PrintMediaCentr and #drupa2016 for my live tweets from drupa May 27-June 10! Want to see something at the Messe??… tweet me and I’ll do my best to find it for you!